Prince William and Attenborough’s Earthshot’ (to save the world)

Two years ago I wrote to Attenborough recorded delivery. No reply. Now, he and the Duke of Cambridge have a plan:

providing solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

The ‘Earthshot’ Prize

They will publicise ‘at least 50’ of the submissions they receive, and give a million pounds to each, If my proposal is among them, thank you, but I shall give the money to an ecological charity, possibly of the judges’ choosing. I am living comfortably on my Superannuation and Old Age Pension. I merely hope to save future generations (including mine) from the catastrophe towards which the entire ecosphere is heading, and which some in Australia (inter alia) might think has already begun.

All I ask is an acknowledgement this time. What I send when applications open on 1st November will be more or less the same as Attenborough (or someone on his behalf) has presumably already thrown away.

The pages of this weblog try to set out the gist, but for convenience, here it is in a nutshell.

Richard Heinberg (last week’s blog post) gives my proposal a giant boost. He already has a much higher profile than I have. He takes for granted that we must reduce use of fossil fuels, and that that will unavoidably cause an economic contraction.

So all we sitll have to do is to make contraction of the (world) economy a realistic possibility. In case this looks too grandiose an ambition, those who have read Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics’ will remember her planned economic landing rather than a crash. Attenborough and Cambridge are trying to avoid that crash by common consent.

But I seem to have difficulty in explaining that last bit – why the necessary measures are still not in place. It comes down to a mind set change, but it has to be consensual, and world-wide. All I propose is giving every individual security, so that they can contemplate ecological limits.

In or about 1971, Warren A Johnson co-edited a book Economic Growth versus the Environment. with john Hardisty. (Wadsworth Publishing company Inc.) One chapter is entitled: The Guaranteed Income as an environmental Measure. The very next chapter is already famous: Buddhist Economics by E.F Schumacher.

I gather that Muddling towards Buddhism was an essay by Johnson about the same time. I do not have copies of either the book or the essay, but it looks rather as though something along the lines of what I have been trying to say (since 1973) has been said,

and ignored

Your Royal Highness, David. if you have access to £50.000,000, you could do worse than publicise the unconditional basic income, as an environmental  measure for nothing, and offer the money to the government as a contribution. CV19 will make a basic income necessary anyway.

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